1897 – BIRTH OF GRAHAM TOWERS, GOVERNOR OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF CANADA, 1934-1955
In testimony in 1939 before a Standing Committee on Banking and Commerce of the Canadian Parliament when asked whether banks create money, he stated: “That is right. That is what they are for… That is the Banking business, just in the same way that a steel plant makes steel…The manufacturing process consists of making a pen-and-ink or typewriter entry on a card in a book. That is all…Each and every time a bank makes a loan (or purchases securities), new bank credit is created — new deposits — brand new money…As loans are debts, then under the present system all money is debt.”
1993 – LOBBY DAY ON MONETARY REFORM
Over 1000 people traveled to Washington D.C. and hand delivered petitions to the U.S. Congress calling for monetary reform. One of the authors of the measure was Byron Dale. Concerning debt, he stated: “Nobody can borrow themselves out of debt no more than you can drink yourself sober.”
1994 – CONGRESS PASSES RIEGLE ACT
The Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act [IBBEA] amended the laws governing federally chartered banks. A provision of the Act officially ended the issuance of Greenbacks (US debt free currency first issued during the Civil War). “The [Treasury] Secretary shall not be required to reissue United State currency notes upon redemption.”
2008 – BANK BAILOUT BILL FAILS IN CONGRESS
The financial industry imploded in 2007 and 2008. The causes were primarily banking corporations engaging in incredibly risky loans (i.e. subprime mortgages) and too much leverage (loaning out many more times than actual assets – in some cases 30 times – called “fractional reserve” lending). The response was a call to bail out the largest financial corporations that had the greatest amount of toxic assets (called “zombie” banks). Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson, former head of Goldman Sachs financial corporation, on behalf of the Bush administration introduced a 3 page vague proposal asking for $700 billion to bail out the big banks. The public was outraged at what they rightly thought was a blank check bailout. Calls to Congress numbered more than 10:1 against the bill. Congress voted the act down.
2008 – U.S. STOCK MARKET CRASH
The Dow Jones plummeted by 778 points, its largest one-day drop in the history of the New York Stock Exchange. The short term cause of the crash was the congressional vote against the black check bank bailout. More fundamentally, it was result of the bursting of a massive housing “bubble” caused by financial institutions engaged in highly risky mortgages and other bizarre risky investments and fractional reserve lending. The elimination on controls of the financial industry a decade earlier opened the door, but was not the root cause, of the crash that has come to be known as the Great Recession. The root cause of the 2008 crash, similar to all other bursts of financial bubbles before it, was the ability of banks to issue money out of thin air as debt (loans) many times in excess of their assets. The smaller the asset base, the greater the risk that banks will go bankrupt when their loans cannot be repaid or other investments go bad.
1941 – STATEMENT BY MARINER ECCLES, CHAIR OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE
Statement before the House Committee on Banking and Currency: “That is what our money system is. If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn’t be any money.”
1525 – FIRST WESTERNER, PORTUGESE EXPLORER DIOGA DE ROCHA, ARRIVES IN YAP
The people on the island of Yap in the Carolina Islands have for centuries used large, solid stone wheels as currency. The modern “civilized” world uses in a similar way gold or silver mined from the ground. The Yap money supply is the most stable in the world. It is controlled by the people and not by banking corporations.
1936 – DEATH OF LOUIS MCFADDEN (R- PA), CHAIRMAN OF THE US HOUSE BANKING AND CURRENCY COMMITTEE
“We have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. Some people think the Federal Reserve Banks are U.S. government institutions. They are private credit monopolies; domestic swindlers, rich and predatory money lenders which prey upon the people the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers…The truth is the Federal Reserve Board has usurped the Government of the United States by the arrogant credit monopoly which operates the Federal Reserve Board.”
2014 – NATIONAL DAY IN CHINA The day commemorates the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 2014. The first paper money appeared in China about 806 AD.
1869 – BIRTH OF MOHANDAS GANDHI
‘Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” One of his “7 Deadly Sins” was “wealth without work.” He also said “[a] small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”
2008 – US REPRESENATIVE BRAD SHERMAN ON HOUSE FLOOR CONCERNING BANK BAILOUT LEGISLATION
“But why are we bailing out the Bank of China? Why are we bailing out the Saudi royal family?… The only way they can pass this bill is by creating and by sustaining a panic atmosphere… A few Members were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted “no.”
2008 – US CONGRESS APPROVES $700 BILLION BAILOUT FOR BANKS
Congress passes and President Bush signs into law the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-343), which establishes the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). US taxpayers bailed out the largest US banks since they were considered “too big to fail.” Main Street businesses and side street homeowners facing foreclosures (due in large part to the speculative practices of major financial institutions) received no such support. Many of these major banks were major political campaign contributors/investors in the 2008 political campaign. The final bailout legislation was a revised and slightly better version of an original bill proposed by Sec. of Treasury Hank Paulson that was literally only a few pages in length. Massive public anger resulted in a flood of calls, emails and visits to congressional offices. Congress defeated the original proposal.
1923 – BIRTH OF CHARLTON HESTON, ACTOR
“You shall not charge interest to your countrymen…” A quote from Moses from the Bible, [Deuteronomy 23: 19-20]. Moses was born sometime in 1527 BC. Since the exact date is unknown, why not use the birth date of the guy who played him in films!
1941 – DEATH OF LOUIS BRANDEIS, US SUPREME COURT JUSTICE (1916-1939)
“The development of our financial oligarchy followed, in this respect, lines with which the history of political despotism has familiarized us: usurpation, proceeding by gradual encroachment rather than by violent acts; subtle and often long-concealed concentration of distinct functions, which are beneficent when separately administered, and dangerous only when combined in the same persons. It was by processes such as these that Cæsar Augustus became master of Rome. The makers of our own Constitution had in mind like dangers to our political liberty when they provided so carefully for the separation of governmental powers. . . . “The goose that lays golden eggs has been considered a most valuable possession. But even more profitable is the privilege of taking the golden eggs laid by somebody else’s goose. The investment bankers and their associates now enjoy that privilege. They control the people through the people’s own money.”
Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt? Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice. This calendar is a project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini, Deb Jose and Greg Coleridge helped in its development. Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, contact firstname.lastname@example.org